The Segway’s introduction was previously heralded as the future’s personal mode of transportation. By adjusting their balance and utilizing the handlebars, users could ride vertically on a platform and change directions. However, the Segway has been criticized since its inception for being overhyped and for its high-profile accidents.
Despite the pros and cons, this two wheeled, self-balanced, electric vehicle has become popular among tourists. Although the Segway company decided to discontinue the production by 2020 due to economic reasons, there remained a lot of fascinating stories behind it. If you are interested in this unique vehicle, we will tell you some Segway facts that may surprise you.
1. The Born of Segway
Segway was invented by Dean Kamen in 1999. Initially, the goal was to design a wheelchair that would lift the rider off the ground. Kamen’s technical team recognized that the self-balancing gyroscopes within the iBot wheelchair, which could both elevate its user to eye height and drive up stairs, might be adapted to make a fun, zippy device for cruising on two feet.
It was Kamen’s vision that it would be the ultimate mode of urban transportation between home and work. Furthermore, the Segway was an instantaneous icon at the start of the millennium which is powered by technological optimism.
It eventually culminated in a new device that enabled individuals to ramble around the streets with ease and amusement.
2. Behind The Unique Name
One of the interesting facts is that Segway was named by the founder, Dean Kamen. The term “segue,” which means “smooth passage from one location or thing to another,” led Kamen to name his breakthrough vehicle “Segway.”
This “smooth” part was obviously perfect to describe the way his creation moved around, as well as his own original idea, which was to construct a vehicle that could easily and smoothly transport people of all ages anywhere they desired to go. Moreover, the Segway is also known as a “personal transporter”.
3. The Work Mechanism
At first glance, this gadget appears to be nothing special as it only resembles a high-tech scooter. However, those who have used it report that it is an entirely new way of getting around. As you press the handle bars in the vehicle, it keeps your body balanced!
The Segway makes use of a sophisticated system that includes five gyroscopes. A gyroscope is a revolving wheel mounted to a device that can freely rotate in any direction.
The vehicle can balance itself and stand upright because of this complex mechanism, which is referred to as “Dynamic Stabilization.” The user’s center of gravity is monitored 100 times per second by a set of tilt sensors, which keeps them standing and safe at all times.
4. Segway is Faster Than A Squirrel
The electric motor on the Segway delivers 2 horsepower (1500 watts) per servo. When the vehicle is going to surpass any version’s maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour, the technology uses a software-controlled, self-governing mechanism that causes the vehicle to automatically “lean backward.”
Moreover, Segway can run faster than the average squirrel. Maybe the Segway appears to be heavy, but it only weighs 65 pounds which makes the trip both comfortable and easy.
5. The Dangers of Children Riding Segway
Segways used to appear like sci-fi anomalies, something you could only see in movies. But now, you’re more likely to see them as you walk around your neighborhood or visit your local park. Therefore it’s understandable when you wonder if this device is safe for kids or not.
A lot of Segway models aren’t made for kids. And for that reason, you should check if the models are suitable for kids before getting them on. For instance, the Segway miniLITE is designed for kids aged 6 who weigh 20 to 80 kilograms.
Moreover, another hazard for riders who are under the required weight or age is that they may not be able to effectively interact with the product’s balance system.
6. The First Appearance to Public
On Good Morning America, Kamen introduced the Segway Personal Transporter, a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter in December 2001.
The Segway debuted after months of anticipation and rampant media speculation, during which time it was only known by its code name, “Ginger,” or “It.”
Moreover, Kamen’s reputation as a talented inventor and businessman opened doors, and the ingenuity of his design persuaded investors that they were onto something big.
However, with a starting price of roughly USD 5,000, the Segway was condemned to a limited market. Even though it is considered unaffordable, since their introduction in 2002, Segway claims to have sold “tens of thousands” of the devices.
7. Reason Behind Lack of Acceptance
Dean Kamen designed the Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing battery electric vehicle in a flurry of publicity in 2001. Moreover, in the first 3 years, Segway continued to develop its gyroscope technology, agility and speed.
However, it has been unable to attain widespread market adoption and is currently considered a curiosity.
In fact, Segway launched the I2 and X2 models, which are suitable for different environments. The X2 model was developed for steep terrain, whereas the I2, which was narrower, faster, and more agile, was created for navigating traffic jams and congested metropolitan areas.
The product is functional, however it is missing a support context which complies with the regulation.
8. Four Hours for Fully Charged
The Segway Drift W1 is powered by lithium-ion batteries. The battery will take around 3-4 hours to completely charge. Moreover, the battery may be charged and drained 500 times without losing its charge.
The capacity of the battery is still at least 70% after 500 cycles. The batteries of a Segway also can be charged using a conventional wall outlet. Therefore, you can charge the device at any moment by plugging it in.
9. Environmentally Friendly Way to Travel
Segways are marketed as the most eco-friendly mode of transportation. They are available in a variety of models, including the Personal Transporter and Commuter, as well as golfer and adrenaline seeker versions.
A segway is powered by a Lithium-ion battery, which not only makes the transportation gadget environmentally sustainable, but also allows you to enjoy the comfort of your trip with the peace and quiet of the forest because the Segway runs softly.
Therefore, a Segway Tour is suitable for all levels of experience, whether you are new to riding Segways or a seasoned veteran.
10. The Best Segway Tour in The World
A Segway tour is an excellent way to learn about a new city or region. You’ll cover more places than you would on foot, and your guide may tell you about the area’s history, recommend restaurants, and introduce you to other worthwhile tours. Therefore, Segway tours have become popular all over the world.
One of the best Segway tours belongs to Absolutely Chicago Segway. In addition to the typical tour of Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Soldier Field, Chicago Segway provides a few interesting options.
There is the Chicago Gangster Tour, which takes you through Al Capone’s and other wise guys’ hangouts. Or, you can try the Chicago Haunted Tour, which takes you past haunted hotels, murder sites, and even a morgue, are both available.
11. Segway Sports
Segway sports have evolved in recent years at the crossroads of technology and tradition. However, they are still in the experimental stage. For instance, Segway polo is a team sport that gained popularity after it was first played in 2004 by members of the Bay Area Segway Enthusiasts Group (Bay Area SEG).
Together with their clubs and teams who have joined since, they developed Segway polo into what it is today. Not to mention, other sports also tried to use Segway such as hockey, golf, supercross, and many more.
12. Segway vs Hoverboard
Another similar mode of transportation with Segway has emerged in recent years and has begun to gain favor, which is called hoverboard. In case you are confused about the difference between both of those gadgets, we will explain it in a simple way.
Segway is the name of the manufacturer that owns the patent for a particular motorized self-balancing vehicle, so that it is only made by one company.
Hoverboards, on the other hand, are created by a variety of companies, resulting in a diverse selection of self-balancing scooters. Moreover, they have a lot of amazing alternatives and unique features.
13. Illegal Vehicles in the UK
Using a self-balancing micro scooter on the road, as well as on a public pavement or path, is prohibited in Britain, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Metropolitan Police.
Based on the road laws, self-balancing mini scooters, including hoverboards and Segways are also classed as ‘carriages’. Therefore, it is banned from use on walkways.
Hoverboard legalities in the United Kingdom imply that riding this form of wheeled vehicle in a public place is dangerous and unsafe. As a result, existing legislation provides unambiguous direction. Only on private property is the latest version of the famed Segway permissible.
14. Police Use Segway
In 2011, a police officer in Long Beach, New York, was able to make an arrest after segwaying during a car chase. Despite the fact that he kept up with the car’s speed, he was able to apprehend and arrest the youths who stole the car after it crashed and fled on foot.
And for that reason, Segway scooters were being considered by police departments across the country as the newest means of mobility for officers.
The officers put the devices in use at last week’s Art Walk, a street festival featuring food trucks and vendors.
Moreover, Segway has been demonstrating the battery-powered scooters to cops as part of its “Patrolling Across America” campaign, which allows agencies to see firsthand how they may be used for patrol. Not to mention, it is true that replacing a police car with a segway saves money on gas.
15. Segway Challenge Trend
This is one of the interesting team building activities you can do with Segway. There is a competition with an obstacle course and a race to test who can handle the Segway the best. What makes it more fun is that the difficulty level is gradually increased.
This activity is quickly becoming the most talked-about team-building activity in years. In addition, they also give newcomers and amateurs a chance.
16. Segway Production Discontinued
After all of the attention and controversy, Segway announced that the self-balancing scooter was phased out in July 2020. Because many of the original machines are still in use years later, you might be wondering why the firm decided to cease producing them.
With such a low turnover rate, the original Segway only accounted for 1.5 percent of the company’s sales in 2019. Hence, it was time to get the machine out of the way.
17. Usain Bolt Segway Accident
Despite its advanced technology, Segway can be harmful sometimes for both the riders or people around them. In 2015, Usain Bolt was floored down by a cameraman on a Segway while celebrating his 200m victory at the world championships in Beijing.
The local television journalist collided with a fixed fence while using Segway and flew off backwards, crashing into Bolt’s legs from behind and bringing the Jamaican to the ground.
Fortunately, Usain Bolt escaped unharmed from the accident. Moreover, he pondered getting his legs insured in case of future bumps and scrapes after winning his fourth consecutive world title in the 200 m.
18. Segway Boss Dies on Segway
This is one of the most tragic accidents on Segway. Jimi Heselden, the British multi-millionaire who bought Segway in January, died after crashing one of the company’s two-wheeled scooters into a river in September 2010. An inquest heard that Heselden fell from a cliff while attempting to make room for Coroner David Hinchcliff, his dog walker.
Hinchcliff said that the CEO of the Segway company had perished as a result of this “act of civility.” Mr Heselden fell 42 feet from a pathway above the Wharfe River near Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, near his home. He was 62 years old at the time.
19. Segway Accidents Causes Serious Injuries
Riding a Segway may appear to be fun, but it can be dangerous sometimes. According to researchers, there has been an upsurge in serious injuries among persons who use the devices.
Washington D.C. emergency department researchers are warning that injuries from the two-wheeled scooters are growing more dangerous a day after the new owner of the Segway tumbled to his death on one of the two-wheeled scooters.
Researchers looked at the records of 41 patients who went to the George Washington University Hospital’s emergency room with injuries sustained while riding Segways.
Ten of the 41 injured patients were taken to the hospital. Four of whom were admitted to an intensive care unit due to traumatic brain injuries. During their stay at the hospital, two persons had surgery, one for facial fractures and the other for a tibia fracture.
20. San Diego Segway Tour Insurance After $1.7 Million Payout
Many people are unaware that the Segway excursions that they frequently see are not always protected by the tour operator’s insurance.
If a Segway tour ends in an accident, tourists may have to rely on their own resources. Moreover, we’re all aware that Segways, especially in the San Diego terrain, are prone to mishaps.
Following a $1.7 million settlement with a lady who was wounded in a Segway incident in La Jolla in 2018, the City Council introduced an ordinance that would add more regulations for Segway tour firms.
As the case included a Segway tour company that did not have liability insurance for their injured consumer, therefore it did not pay to the settlement. Hence, new safety standards and a requirement to carry multi-million commercial liability insurance became among the restrictions.
Segways have found their way into everyday activities, making significant improvements to labor sites and even sports. Although the Segway production has already stopped, you still can ride similar devices as Segway in some fun activities. We hope all of the Segway facts can be an insightful information and beneficial lesson for you.